Bring quality back to public health facilities

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KMET CEO Monica Oguttu (centre) presenting the safe care approach in Kisumu county. To the left is the Minister for health Mrs Ogaja

Public hospitals are always characterized with long queues and grumpy clients with some people even viewing it as a place for only the poor in the society.

 
It is worse when even the very health providers within the public sector prefer to seek for medical care in private facilities. What went wrong in the public health facilities?

 
According to KMET CEO Monica Oguttu, reinstating quality is all that is needed to bring back the good name and trust in public facilities.

 

“Quality is a software that is very important in service delivery but very neglected and never budgeted for” said Monica.

 
Due to the grave emerging issues in the public health sector as a result of no quality in service delivery, KMET’s safe care initiative to the counties couldn’t be so timely.

 

KMET has been focusing on quality and health financing issues but in the private sector. However, the glaring need in the public facilities cannot be overlooked.

 
KMET is therefore currently engaging Kisumu, Siaya, Trans Nzoia and Kakamega counties as a pilot to adopt the safe care model to improve quality in service delivery.

 
For instance Siaya County has already agreed to start with the county referral hospital before scaling up to six other facilities that were selected for the pilot phase.

 
Kisumu County on the other hand is in the process of forming a quality improvement team which will oversee the implementation of quality standards in the selected pilot facilities.

 

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During a meeting to discuss the way forward in terms of quality in Kisumu County, the health Minister Mrs. Ogaja ackno

wledged the need to address quality issues in public facilities within

the county.
She complemented the timely venture of KMET and noted that quality improvement actually starts with the management. She also promised her support hoping that Kisumu gets to embrace a culture of quality in service provision.

 
The journey to bring quality back to public health facilities has already began within the four counties. With the support of policy makers and health stake holders, the light at the end of the tunnel looks so bright.

By Lynette Ouma

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Eliminating missed of opportunities in integrated services

Linet Ngacho dresses up her baby in a church where a Huduma Poa health provider attended to her and her children.

Linet Ngacho dresses up her baby in a church where a Huduma Poa health provider attended to her and her children.

It is expected that all children below 9 years of age should undergo a series of immunizations against common but preventable diseases like Polio, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Measles and whooping cough. These maladies can cause death or life-long disability among children, but it does not seem so for Linet Ngacho who has never immunized all the four of her children since birth.

The twenty six year old mother is a subsistence farmer in Misri Village, Chwele Sub County in Bungoma County, which has the largest number of deprived children according to a 2013 UNICEF report.

“None of my children were delivered in hospital and I have never attended any child clinic,” she confessed. Oddly, Linet lives less than two kilometers from Chwele Sub County Hospital, a government facility.

Her first-born is six years old, followed by a four-year-old second born, a three year old third born and a last born of two years.

Change came for Linet at a Huduma Poa outreach site, six kilometers from her home. She got word from a community health volunteer that health practitioners from Bewa Medical Clinic would be offering reproductive and child health services so she brought her children who had developed persistent ringworm with the last-born running a fever.

Beatrice Wafula, a nurse trained on the IMCI protocol who attended to Linet’s children reported that her case was one of ignorance and lack of awareness after immunizing the children who were still eligible.

“It is of great concern that there are mothers who still do not know the benefit of hospital delivery and child health clinics, this is why it is important to have a strong community strategy,” she said.

In addition, Linet adopted an IUCD after receiving family planning counseling saying: “I rarely have time to do other activities, I’ve always been taking care of my babies and I hope this coil will give me some break.”

Studies disclose that many sick children never receive proper assessment and treatment by healthcare providers, and that their parents are poorly advised. For this reason, Huduma Poa Health Network trains member clinics on the integrated management of childhood illness protocol to Improve case management skills of health-care staff and involve the community health volunteers to reach out to people like Linet in a bid to improve family and community health practices.

-END-

Joy Wambare

KMET presents the FP strategic plan to Homa Bay governor ahead of dissemination

Monica handing the strategic plan to Homabay Governor

Monica handing the strategic plan to Homabay Governor

Homabay governor Cyprian Awiti endorsed a five year family planning strategic plan, the only one of its kind in Nyanza region, supported by KMET in partnership with Homabay county health management team.

While receiving the document from KMET CEO Monica Oguttu, Cyprian expressed his concern about the low contraceptive prevalence rate in Homa Bay which stands at 45.5% against the 58% national rate.

The governor did not hesitate to note the high teenage pregnancies in his county and its related repercussions such as increased maternal mortality and school drop outs.

“This county is also notorious for high teenage pregnancies. I would call upon all partners to work together to curb this menace,” stated the governor.

In response to the concerns raised by the governor, KMET CEO explained that the strategic plan has factored in the needs of young people through youth friendly services.

She also emphasized that with proper budget allocation for family planning by the county government, the issue of commodity stock out would be addressed and a contraceptive prevalence rate of 70% achieved.

“We want women to have choices. They don’t have to go for injectables (depo) all the time when they can access long acting and reversible contraceptives easily. This is only possible if we don’t let this book gather dust in our shelves but implement its contents,” said Monica.

The governor also gave the KMET and Homa Bay County Health management team a go head to disseminate the strategic plan its eight sub counties for all stakeholders to understand its contents.IMG_9571

In his concluding remarks Cyprian applauded KMET’s intervention in Homa Bay and promised his government’s and other partners commitment in implementation of the strategic plan in a bid to reduce the negative maternal indicators in Homa Bay County.

The endorsement of the strategic plan was done at the county health offices in the presence of the Health Minister Lawrence Koteng’, Deputy Directors of health Kevin Osuri and Mr. Waringa and the county health management team.

By Lynette Ouma

Wide spread ignorance in most men: breast cancer

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Many people assume that only women are diagnosed with breast cancer and top on the myth is men having breast cancer, as they assume they don’t have breasts .Statistics show that a larger percentage of men die of breast cancer compared to women as they are ignorant of the disease hence detected at a very late stage.

Men have a concentration of nonfunctional breast tissue directly behind the nipples on the chest wall just like breast cancer in women. This is then characterized by unregulated, out of control cell growth resulting in over 100 different types of cancers each classified by the type of cell that it initially affected.

The overgrown cells sometimes known as tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems and can also release hormones that interfere with normal bodily functions. These dangerous tumors are known as Malignant tumors, however not all of the tumors are dangerous. Benign tumors stay in one spot demonstrating limited growth and very little or no interference with bodily functions.

Symptoms of breast cancer are pus from nipple that may have blood stains, swelling on breast, sore in skin around breast, nipple enlarged to breast and a lump under the arm are among the signs men should check for.

Cancer can be treated through surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and biological therapy. Men are therefore called to check themselves and seek treatment in case of any suspicion at the early stages of breast cancer.

cancer

by beryl onyango

KMET joins other partners in sponsoring the Kisumu Fashion Week

A model show casing various FP commodities

A model show casing various FP commodities

The Kisumu fashion week finally went down with local designers and models showcasing their talent and work at Tuff Foam mall.

The successful event attended by Kisumu First Lady Olivia Ranguma among other county stakeholders was supported by a number of organizations with KMET as the only Reproductive Health partner.

Prior to the event, KMET conducted informative reproductive health discussions with the models to sensitize them on their rights to access reproductive health information and services.

The models were also sensitized on the efficiency and convenience of Long Acting and Reversible contraceptives (LARC) in preventing unwanted pregnancies among young people hence, take part in reduction of maternal mortality as a result of unsafe abortion.

KMET did not only provide the RH education to the models but also felt obligated to sponsor the event given its varied engagements with young people on RH issues within the county.

The event was well attended by young people, partners as well as county officials.

KMET Microfinance relaunches to reach the underserved

KMET CEO, Monica Oguttu the patron to the Microfinance cuts the tape during the relaunch

KMET CEO, Monica Oguttu the patron to the Microfinance cuts the tape during the relaunch

KMET KMET Microfinance was set up in 2004 as a self-sustaining strategy to empower KMET network members economically. It largely drew membership from community health volunteers (CHVs) and hospitals affiliated to KMET the NGO.

Community health volunteers were the main target population since they do not have stable income yet they offer critical health services to communities. KMET works directly with over 1000 community volunteers across the counties.

The micro finance operations were later transferred to the KMET Sacco in 2011, which then had the capacity to handle the ballooning needs of the members.

August 2 2015 saw the re-launch of KMET Microfinance delinking its activities from the KMET Sacco and the mother organization.

Senior Business Advisor, Amos Vele says this is a step to tailor-make financial solutions for small businesses and low-income earners whose needs might not be catered for by the SACCO or other credit facilities.

“We are in the business of improving socio –economic conditions of self-help groups through economic activities, “he says. He further adds that the institution is prioritizing women’s involvement in economic opportunities.

“There is a huge potential among women because many of them are unbanked and still majority of them have a higher capacity to save compared to the menfolk,” he reiterated.

KMET Microfinance has products like Nawiri loan tailored for small businesses, which has low interest rates and flexible repayment periods.

Alongside this are other products like Tiba Mashinani, a healthcare package aiming to finance small clinics and pharmacies that need to upgrade and improve services.

A product in the pipeline is the Mshahara loan for salaried members who would wish to take loans based on their pay slips and asset financing which will finance members to purchase assets.

The future is bright with the microfinance institution planning to make inroads in mobile banking, internet banking and an improved customer service not forgetting an expansion plan to reach more clients

To know more about the products  get in touch with

Amos on cell 0722 127 893

And Dan on cell 0726870104

Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives: the choice for young people

Participants during a group discussion

Participants during a group discussion

Most young people who are sexually active more often opt for short term contraceptive methods in order to prevent pregnancy.

In fact, it is no longer news that majority are frequently using the emergency pills despite the adverse effect of a possible ectopic pregnancy in future.

Some of those using pills and condoms on the other hand are not consistent resulting to unwanted pregnancies and of course, unsafe abortions and its related problems.

Unto them that are on injection (depo), they face the risk of delayed return to fertility. Do young people really have a choice when it comes to contraceptive methods?

Young people do have convenient and efficient contraceptive choices but most of them either have no idea or have inaccurate information concerning the methods.

It is in this light that KMET under the CTG program trained youth peer providers from Kisumu, Migori and Siaya Counties on Long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) and how effective and convenient they are for young people.

According to Caro Nyandat, KMET RH Coordinator, LARC especially non hormonal IUD saves young people from delayed return to fertility and frequent visits to a health facility.

Moreover, young people escape the hook of pregnancy as a result of inconsistency when using the everyday pills.

Caro also noted that majority of those using the non-hormonal IUD do not experience abnormal monthly periods or weight changes as it has been reported by those on hormonal methods.

The youth peer providers are expected to disseminate information on the convenience of implants and IUD in pregnancy prevention, especially to the young people who always assume these methods are meant for older people.

The 5 days training which took place in Bondo was facilitated by RH Coordinator Caro Nyandat, Kepha Ogalo, Teddy Brian and Peter Victor who are peer educators.

By Lynette Ouma